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Medical Edge: 1 in 5 binge drink in the tri-state

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A new survey by "Interact for Health" said there were some dangerous drinking habits in the tri-state.

About half of adults in the tri-state had a drink in the last month.  Six percent were heavy drinkers.  That pretty much matched  the rest of the country.  But it was the binge drinking that has those such as Ann Barnum concerned.

She helped conduct the Greater Cincinnati Community Health Survey which found Cincinnati's binge drinking was higher than the national average.  Nearly one in five reported binge drinking in the last 30 days.

Barnum said that was defined as, "For men five or more drinks in a two hour period on any occasion.  And for women, four or more drinks in a two hour period."

Barnum said in the group where binge drinking was highest, guys and girls ages 18 to 29, it impacted a part of the brain that lead to poor decisions.  Those can have serious consequences.

"So we do things we wouldn't normally do if we are binge drinking.  DUI's, unwanted pregnancies, hanging with the wrong people," Barnum said.

People will likely see campaigns aimed at reducing binge drinking in those at risk.  But in addition to that they could see a push for changes to public policy, much like in cigarettes.  Taxes went up on cigarettes and soon there could be a push to raise those taxes on alcohol.

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